Dwarf Herring

Dwarf herring

Bruce Coblentz

Latin name: Jenkinsia lamprotaenia

Also called sweethead or bluefry in the West Indies, the dwarf herring is a key forage species in much of the Caribbean basin where it has been described as the most abundant small schooling species. Inshore aggregations of dwarf herring are notable for the extraordinary level of feeding activity upon them by seabirds and piscivorous fishes. In addition to their extreme importance to birds and other fishes, dwarf herring are of extreme importance to artisanal fishers who rely on them to attract commercially important species to nearshore waters, and because they are preferred as bait and chum. They are particularly valuable because spawning aggregations appear nearshore in predictable locations and at a predictable time, namely the few days surrounding the full moon.

Did you know? Dwarf herring spawn at consistent sites every month of the year during the full moon.


Coblentz, B.E.  1995.  Reproductive biology of the dwarf herring (Jenkinsia lamprotaenia) in the Virgin Islands.  Bull. Mar. Sci.  56:  602-608